Rescue in Seattle

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SEATTLE — Firefighters used a ladder to rescue a woman trapped inside her second story apartment during an early Saturday morning apartment fire in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood.

Firefighters arrived at an apartment building in the 1000 block of South Thistle Street at about 3:30 a.m. after getting calls about a fire and a woman being trapped inside, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

When they arrived, fire crews found flames shooting out of the building. Firefighters used a ladder to rescue a tenant who was trapped inside her second story apartment.

Three other residents were able to escape the flames on their own, and none of the occupants needed any medical attention.

Firefighters made quick work of the blaze, knocking it down in roughly 20 minutes. The fire was completely extinguished 45 minutes after crews arrived.

It’s unclear what sparked the fire, but Investigators believe it started outside of the building and then spread inside. The Seattle Police Arson Bomb Squad was called to assist in the investigation, according to fire officials.

The fire investigator determined the damage estimate is $200,000 to the structure and $100,000 to the contents.

One overheated firefighter was taken to Harborview Medical Center as a precaution.

Off Duty Nashville Firefighter Rescues Woman

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An off-duty firefighter rescued a woman from a three-alarm fire after he saw smoke billowing into the air while on a motorcycle ride.

According to the Nashville Fire Department’s Twitter account, Chris Schrum rescued the woman from a unit at the Trails Apartment complex in an area where the fire was reportedly the worst.

The fire broke out at the complex located in the 300 block of Trails Circle, just off Bell Road, around noon.

Firefighters rescue pets
Firefighters were able to rescue Tim Watt’s ferrets from the blaze. He and his pregnant wife lost all of their other belongings in the fire.

Firefighters were able to contain the massive fire, which could be seen miles away, to one building.

Authorities on the scene said one resident was transported to TriStar Summit Medical Center for possible smoke inhalation.

A total of 16 units were affected by the fire. It is unclear how many residents lived in those units.

“Whenever we have a fire like this, our main concern of course is for the people, so we wanted to make sure we had everyone out,” Nashville Fire Department spokesman Brian Haas said.

News 2 spoke with fire victim Tim Watts who lost his home. He said he was at a doctor’s appointment with his wife, who is 39 weeks pregnant, when the fire broke out.

“Everything I own is gone now, so that’s a little bit frightening when [we have] a baby coming this week,” he said.

Firefighters were able to rescue the family’s pet ferrets, but their unit was completely destroyed. A GoFundMe was set up to help the Watts family in their time of need. Click here to donate.

Several other pets in the building were also rescued. Two dogs were killed.

Crews remained on the scene for several hours keeping a close watch for any hot spots.

Heat was a concern for the firefighters battling the fire as temperatures were just over 90 degrees at the time.

One firefighter was “overcome” by heat, authorities on the scene said.

The fireman is expected to be fine.

“It’s brutally out out here,” ____ said. “Our firefighters wear heavy, heavy gear and safety is always a concern.”

The Nashville Fire Department said the fire was likely caused by an electrical malfunction outside.

The American Red Cross is assisting with the displaced families.

Man Rescued from Meat Grinder

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(CNN)A man who fell in to an industrial meat grinder was apparently one blade swipe away from a fatal injury.

The accident happened Thursday at a meat processing plant in San Luis Obispo, California.

The machine’s blades “came around and broke his arm and came around again and broke his arm a little further up the next turnaround,” San Luis Obispo Fire Battalion Chief Neal Berryman told CNN affiliate KEYT. Berryman told the affiliate the man’s head or neck would have been hit next.

The man’s screaming alerted his coworker, who saw the victim’s legs protruding from the machine and switched it off in the nick of time.

The man ended up in the predicament, when he tried to yank out some meat that was stuck, and got the long sleeve of his work coat caught in the machine’s inner workings, fire officials believe. The meat grinder then pulled him in.

A picture taken by a firefighter shows the man entangled in the machine up to his waist — his legs pointed upward, with rescuers on all sides.

Hydraulic tools had to be used to pull the blades apart and free the man, who survived his injuries.

Chief Berryman says he gave the man this advice – “buy a lottery ticket because he’s the luckiest person around.”

Man Rescued from Fire in Juneau, Alaska

As soon as Elena See and her sister Amelia James stepped out of their home in the early hours of Thursday morning, they knew something was on fire. They could smell it.

“We went outside, and we sniffed the air and noticed something burning,” See said. “We were concerned because the smell was so strong. It smelled like burning wire.”

It was about a quarter past 1 a.m., and two sisters were leaving their home in Switzer Village Mobile Home Park to go downtown when they noticed the smell.

Had it not been for them, their neighbor might not be alive.

Shortly after 1:20 a.m. Capital City Fire Rescue responded to a report of smoke coming from a trailer in the mobile home park, Fire Chief Rich Etheridge said. After arriving at the smoking trailer, firefighters forced their way through the front door to find two small fires and a man, whose name has not been released, lying unconscious on the floor.

The fire crew removed the victim, 29, from the trailer and extinguished the flames. The victim was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital where a man of his description remains in stable condition, according to hospital officials.

According to Fire Marshal Dan Jager, the fire was intentionally set and the victim is believed to have caused it. The fire started with burning paper products, but there didn’t appear to be any accelerants, Jager said. The Juneau Police Department investigating the event as a suspicious fire.

All told, the fire department estimates that the fire and smoke did about $7,000 of damage to the trailer, but the outcome could have been worse, Jager said.

“Had the fire gotten the chance to grow, it would’ve caught other combustibles,” he said. “The occupant definitely could’ve succumbed to smoke inhalation, and it definitely would’ve been a different, and more dangerous, situation had it not been caught as early as it was.”

Without See, James and her fiancé, Guy Riley, that more dangerous situation likely would have been reality.

After noticing the strange smell, See and James tried to identify its source. After checking their home and finding nothing, the sisters left for downtown, but James remained concerned about the threat of a fire.

“I’ve always heard that trailers go up fast, so we wanted to figure out what the smell was,” James said. “I just knew it wasn’t fireworks. It was too strong.”

James and See called Riley, who was still at their home in Switzer Village, to inspect the situation further. Riley said he agreed because he has a woodworking shop behind their house that he recently rewired, and he feared it could have been the source of the smoky smell.

“I stepped out of the door to see if it was my shop, and, just by chance, I looked across the street and noticed smoke blowing out of the window of a trailer.”

By the time Riley grabbed a flashlight and walked over to the trailer, he said it was “billowing black smoke.”

“I pounded on the window, and I pounded on the door, but nobody answered,” Riley said. “I wasn’t sure if anybody was there because there’s always a bunch of people in and out of that place, but if somebody missed that, they’d really have to had been out of it.”

Riley then called 911 to report the fire.

“When it comes down to it, if it hadn’t been for Amelia and her sister telling me to check it out, that guy would be dead,” he said.

Though Etheridge and Jager both acknowledged that early action likely prevented the death of Riley’s neighbor, they also said that smoke detectors — which were notably absent from the burning home — could have played an important role in stopping the fire had they been installed.

Man Rescued from Boat Fire

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JUNEAU –

Firefighters have rescued a man who was knocked unconscious by smoke after his boat caught fire in Aurora Harbor.

The Juneau Empire reports that Capital City Fire and Rescue officials were alerted to the emergency early Friday morning by a neighbor who reported smoke coming from the vessel.

Responding firefighters arrived to find black smoke coming from the main cabin of the 38-foot boat. Once inside, they quickly put out a smoldering fire and discovered an unconscious man in the boat’s rear berth.

The man, whose name has not been released, was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital. Fire officials say he had been unconscious but responsive.

The damage to the vessel’s interior was estimated at $10,000.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Boy Rescued in Juneau, Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) – A team of Alaska medics and firefighters rescued a Boy Scout whose legs had been pinned under a 3,000-pound (1,361-kg) boulder that rolled onto him at a riverfront camp in Juneau, rescue officials said on Wednesday.

The young man was climbing in a rocky area near the mouth of the Herbert River on Monday when the boulder came loose, trapping him, said Ed Quinto, assistant chief of Capital City Fire and Rescue.

Several other Boy Scouts, scout personnel and the boy’s father managed to free one leg caught between the boulder and the sandy ground, but his second leg remained wedged between the boulder and another rock.

Firefighters called to the scene ultimately used inflatable bags to move the boulder before freeing the boy, who was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital once medics had stabilized him, Quinto said.

“It was raining the whole time, but we were able to stave off hypothermia,” Quinto said. “The trail back to the road is only 5 feet wide, so flying him was the fastest way to take the patient to the hospital without causing further injury.”

The boy’s name and age were not released.

“He was a really brave young man,” Quinto said. “He handled it well. I was amazed at how well he handled it.”

Rescue in Dallas-Fort Worth Area

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Four people and a dog were asleep inside their home on Friendswood Drive Thursday morning when it erupted into flames.

A neighbor noticed the fire and called 911 just before 11 a.m.

“The whole rear of the house was on fire,” said Arlington Battalion Chief Mike Shoemaker.

When Arlington and Pantego fire crews arrived on scene, they noticed multiple cars in the driveway.

That sent up a red flag and firefighters immediately went into the house to look for the homeowners.

“We did a quick search and found them all in bed,” said Shoemaker. “We woke them up and brought them out.”Shoemaker said the smoke detectors inside the house were not working at the time.

Once the homeowners and their dog were out, firefighters extinguished the fire.”Preliminary estimates – probably about $25,000 worth of damage,” said Shoemaker.

Shoemaker said things could have ended much worse. It didn’t take long for the fire to spread to the attic, which he calls “one of the most challenging fires we encounter.””Attic fires are like your outside campfires,” said Shoemaker. “It’s all unprotected wood that’s ready to go.”

That’s why he said it’s so critical to check your smoke detectors regularly and to replace the batteries twice a year.”The technology is there,” said Shoemaker. “There’s no reason for anybody not to get out from a home structure fire.”

The homeowners declined to speak on camera to NBC 5, but said they were doing “alright, considering what happened” and they wanted to thank the firefighters for getting them out.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Officials believe it started near the back porch of the home.

Phoenix Fire Use Torches to Rescue Man

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Phoenix Fire Department rescuers said a man is lucky to be alive today after being stuck in a canal for more than an hour before being pulled out Friday morning.

Fire crews worked for about an hour, going as far as using a blowtorch, to free the 53-year-old man whose leg was trapped in the grate of a canal near 48th and Washington streets.

A bicyclist heard the man calling for help around 6:30 a.m., public information officer Capt. Mark Vanacore said. The Fire Department is not sure how the man got in the water, or how long he had been trapped before being found.

When crews arrived, they found the man with his leg stuck up to his knee in 5 feet of water. The man’s head was barely above water, Vanacore said.

First responders were unable to get the man out of the water using traditional equipment and were forced to call in special equipment from a specialty technical rescue truck to aid them.

Fire crews used their own jackets to protect the man from sparks as they pulled apart the grates using a blow torch. The man was lifted out of the water approximately after an hour of efforts by the Fire Department.

The man was taken to a hospital in stable condition for further medical evaluation. Crews were worried the man had spent too much time in the water and might get hypothermia.

Vanacore said he has seen many cases like this turn deadly, and that the man is very lucky to still be alive.

“Some things definitely fell in this guy’s favor,” Vanacore said.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/07/17/fire-crews-man-stuck–canal/30291209/

Rescues in St. Louis

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NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Firefighters rescued two people from under rubble after a home exploded in north St. Louis Thursday night

A two-story home exploded near the intersection of Broadway and Thrush before 10:30 p.m. Firefighters said the fire then spread to two nearby homes. One home was completely destroyed. Firefighters evacuated all other homes on the block as they worked to secure the scene.

Two males were trapped underneath rubble, but were eventually rescued by firefighters. The two victims were taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Witnesses described the scene as something they would have seen in an action movie.

One witness told News 4 she was in her car, parked near the area of the explosion, when she heard a loud noise and saw debris falling in all directions. She said after the home exploded, the fire quickly spread to two other nearby homes.

A man said he was far away from the scene when the building he was in shook.

“We got debris in the parking lot which is three blocks away, in our parking lot, and when I got over here, the house was completely gone and we had two houses with fire coming out of the roof,” said Robert Cotton.

More than 80 firefighters were called to the scene.

The cause of the explosion has not been determined. Gas has been shut off to the home that exploded.